Limpopo vote robs Malema of outright victory

2011-12-19 00:00

POLITICAL analysts say the results of the ANC’s provincial leadership elections in Limpopo yesterday were nothing to boast about for either the supporters of President Jacob Zuma or Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale.

As expected, Mathale, who enjoys the support of suspended ANC Youth League president Julius Malema, retained his position as provincial chair, despite a campaign by Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla.

Analyst Nhlanhla Mntaka said the real question was by how wide a margin Mathale would win. In the event the difference was 601 votes to 519.

Mntaka said such a close margin indicated that the province was evenly divided between pro- and anti-Zuma groupings.

Had Mathale won by a larger margin it would have meant that Malema and his allies stood a better chance of turning the tables against Zuma at the ANC’s national elective conference in Mangaung next year.

Another analyst, Protas Madlala, agreed that it was a close call that and no side could easily claim dominance.

“One would have expected an outright win for the Malema ally as this was his own back yard. With this margin you can’t therefore say Zuma’s future is in jeopardy [at] … Mangaung.

“If this had happened in KwaZulu-Natal, where the pro-Zuma side loses to pro-[Gwede] Mantashe side, then that could have been interpreted as a sign of disaster for the president in the elective conference,” said Madlala.

He said Malema was probably not happy with the outcome and that the result was a clear indication that his home province was divided.

Limpopo conference: page 4

THERE was no comment yesterday from the ANC leadership over the singing of a song mocking President Jacob Zuma as “the shower man”, complete with a hand gesture, at the Limpopo conference.

Julius Malema joined in the singing and was pictured in Sunday papers making the mocking gesture, which refers to cartoonist Zapiro’s caricature of Zuma with a shower coming out of his head, after he said at his rape trial he took a shower after having sex with an HIV-positive woman.

Zuma is suing Zapiro over the cartoon. Supporters of Cassel Mathale sang “showara wa re sokodisa” (the shower man is giving us a hard time).

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